3 Top Tips on Networking from a GDB Ambassador
I recently finished my two terms as the Chair of Gatwick Diamond Business (GDB), the most notable business membership organisation in the region. I was delighted when they invited me to stay connected and become a GDB Ambassador.
I have seen the organisation grow, adapt and flourish with new services and membership options, always with networking at its core. Face-to-face or virtual, it’s great to meet other GDB members – useful and interesting people – to discuss their objectives, opportunities and ideal clients.
Being a GDB member has been extremely worthwhile both for my business and for me personally. Eshcon thrives on partnerships and recommendations – GDB is the place to be.
I join a group of five other Ambassadors, representing a range of business type, size and sector. We’ve all been members of GDB for many years and see the value of networking, while supporting other members.
Back when GDB just did in-person events, the Ambassadors are often the first point of contact for new members – to welcome them to GDB, support them (it can be rather daunting at your first Members’ Meeting with over 100 attendees – it’s crowded and loud!) and introduce them to others.
Even with our virtual events, we can still reach out to new members, guide conversations and give structure to the zoom break-out rooms, so the networking runs smoothly.
Oh Mister Ambassador, you’re really spoiling us! Who remembers THAT Ferrero Rocher advert? OK, we’re not giving out sumptuous chocolates, but we can make sure that members get the most benefit from being part of Gatwick Diamond Business.
Check out the GDB Ambassadors here.
3 Top Tips on Networking
I thought I’d share my 3 top tips for successful networking.
Ask questions & be interested
So many times I’ve been talking with someone at a networking event and the other person just won’t stop talking about themself. You’ve got to show interest in others – what do they do, what are their objectives, who are they looking to meet and work with, how can you help them? You will get so much more out of networking if you go into it with a giving approach, rather than just take-take-take.
Widen your circle
Don’t just try to sell to everyone you meet. And especially don’t write someone off, just because you don’t think you can sell to them. Look for opportunities with others – referral routes, partnerships on projects or supporting clients. Widen your circle – the 10 businesses you meet today will probably know another 10 businesses, and so on.
Be known, liked and trusted
The sales process is not instantaneous. You can’t expect to turn up at a networking event, dish out a load of business cards and expect new customers to come flooding in. Networking is all about building relationships, and that takes time. You heard the maxim “know – like – trust”.
Network, mix with people, be seen at events, post articles – get people to know you.
Be yourself, be amiable, be positive – hopefully they will like you.
Be useful, answer questions, make referrals, give advice – show that people can trust you.
Then, people will be ready to buy from you.
I hope these tips are useful for you. Do get out there and start networking – it’ll be good for your business and yourself too.
And if you come to a GDB event, come over and say hi – it’d be great to connect.
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